Body pulled from Ohio River near Coal Grove

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2003

SHERIDAN-- A body pulled from the Ohio River yesterday afternoon will be sent to the Franklin County Coroner's Office today for identification and an autopsy.

Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said his office received a call just after 4 p.m. Monday from employees of McGinnis, Inc., indicating they had discovered a body along the banks of the river near the Coal Grove corporation limits. A deputy, sheriff's office investigator and two officers from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol, as well as members of the Coal Grove Fire Department responded to the call and recovered the body.

"At this point we are fairly certain the body is that of a female," Sexton said.

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He would not speculate on an approximate age of the individual or how long the body had been in the river.

Sexton said no reports of missing persons have been made in Lawrence County. However, regional authorities continue to search for Marshall University student Samantha Burns, who disappeared Nov. 11, 2002 from Huntington, W.Va. Her burned-out car was found a day later in Wayne County, W.Va.

Two Kentucky jail escapees were indicted June 12 on state and federal charges in connection with her disappearance and death. Chadrick Evan Fulks, 26, and Branden Basham, 22, escaped from the Hopkins County, Ky. Jail earlier in November. Basham was captured in Ashland, Ky., after he allegedly tried to steal a car from a customer at the Ashland Town Center and later fired shots at an Ashland Police officer. Fulks was caught later in Elkhart County, Ind.

The two are also charged in connection with the Nov. 14 abduction and death of 44-year-old Alice Donovan of Galivants Ferry, S.C., from a Wal-Mart parking

lot. The two allegedly took her car.